Dayton's depth, quickness too much for No. 15 Marquette

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- Dayton made this statement to Marquette on Saturday night: If you want to play fast and you want to play physical, bring it on.

The Flyers used their quickness and depth, got a career-high 21 points off the bench from guard Rob Lowery and tough board play from Chris Wright and Chris Johnson to beat No. 15 Marquette 89-75 in the final game of the Chicago Invitational Challenge.

"We knew they had 11 players and they may have played more than that tonight [12 actually]," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said.

"We don't have 11, don't have 11 who are healthy. But it has nothing to do with depth. It has to do with keeping the ball out of the paint and allowing a team to shoot 54 percent [actually 53 percent]."

The Flyers' 6-0 start is their best since winning the first nine games in 2003-04.

Marquette (5-1) was beaten at its own fast-paced game. The Golden Eagles got a career-high 28 points from Wesley Matthews and 19 points from Dominic James, but couldn't keep up in the second half.

The Flyers matched Marquette's quickness on the perimeter by alternating guards and also got a strong performance on the inside from Wright, who finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds, and from Johnson, a freshman who had 12 points and 11 boards.

Dayton's bench outscored Marquette's 48-5.

"We had to play on all cylinders and tonight that's what happened," said Dayton coach Brian Gregory, who is a native of Mount Prospect, Ill., about 15 miles from the Sears Centre.

"Marquette is very physically tough. If we didn't match it, you've seen what happens. So we did, we matched it. ... We play 12 guys and people keep asking, 'Can you do that?' We're going to keep doing it, because we've been fresh."

Stephen Thomas converted a three-point play and Johnson tipped in a basket as Dayton expanded a one-point halftime lead to eight early in the second. And the Flyers kept going right at Marquette. Lowery hit a 3-pointer off the dribble and Wright's flying slam dunk gave Dayton a 54-45 lead with 13:13 to go.

Wright drove for another basket and Johnson converted a three-point play for a 59-46 lead with about 12 minutes to go. When Mickey Perry drove for yet another layup, the Flyers were up by 15 with just under 11 minutes left.

Lowery hit another jumper, just beating the shot clock, to give the Flyers a 71-53 lead with 7:34 to go.

Marquette battled back as James hit two baskets and Matthews scored and then made a pair of free throws after a steal to cut the lead to 10 with 5:33 remaining, a stretch that saw the Flyers miss three straight free throws.

David Cubillan's 3-pointer with just over five minutes left got the Golden Eagles within eight, but Dayton hung on as London Warren sank a jumper and the Flyers found the touch from the line, making seven straight. They hit 12 of their final 16 free throws.

"We knew they were good and have some great guards," Wright said. "He [Gregory] got on us at the half about pounding the glass. That's what we did. We wanted to rebound and get out and run with them because they push the ball hard."

Lowery, a junior college transfer, had 11 points in the first half on 5-of-7 shooting. The Flyers led by as many as eight in the opening half and were up 33-32 at the break when Matthews missed a jumper right before the buzzer.

"He [Lowery] is just as quick as any guard out there in the country and London, too," Wright said.